Okay, watch a few minutes of each of these, or if you have time, watch them in full. Pay attention to these teens’ dispositions and capacity for articulation. It really poses a lot of questions and makes you think about how we choose to minister to the youth of today. Watch these and let’s have a quick discussion afterward.
So what did you think? Pretty impressive, huh? Did I make you think back to when you were their age and what you were doing then? I believe I was still eating paste and wetting the bed! Okay, so maybe I was a little bit of a late bloomer. But at 31, I think I’ve caught up pretty well. For those of you who know me, just ignore that last sentence and move on.
But it makes you think, doesn’t it? It makes me wonder if we’re making excuses for our youth. It makes me think perhaps our expectations for our teenagers are too low, and we allow them to exist and operate well under their capacities, potentials, and capabilities.
As we just watched, the students in those Ted Talks brought to life the commission in 1 Timothy 4:12, Don’t let any one look down on you because you are young… . Those students believe it and are living it out.
Do we expect too little from our youth? Do we not believe in them as much as we verbalize to them that we do? Do we create content, curriculum, and put on ministry programs that cater to low expectations?
Maybe we’re spoon-feeding mashed up peas and carrots to our students when they actually can handle filet mignon (sorry that’s about all the French I know).
So what does it look like to minister to students to help them reach the potential we saw in those videos?
You might be saying, “Well, those teenagers aren’t the norm.” Well, maybe they would be if we treated them like they were capable of that potential, believed in them more, and challenged them to become all that God has made them to be–not when they’re adults–but now.
I hate the saying “Our youth are the church of tomorrow,” or “They are the leaders of tomorrow.” What you’re essentially saying is, “Wait ’til you’re an adult; you’ll do some great things with your life when you’re all grown up.”
Teenagers are the church of now. They can lead, teach, and serve just as well as any adult. And from what’s apparent in these videos–even more so.
So let’s start believing in and realizing our students’ current potential and encourage them to step into it now. I think we’ll see them do great things with their youth and unleash them into what God has in store for them today.
Can I get an amen? Anyone? Anyone?